Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stormwatch #4 (February, 2012)

" Projectionist, this is the Midnighter. I hope you're listening in on my cowl mike-- because that monster that was sent from the moon--? It just absorbed all your teammates. The ground here is still erupting-- and the creature's using your team's powers-- including... the Manhunter's telepathy... trying to make me throw myself into that thing."

At the Eye of the Storm, the Projectionist offered to send a door to teleport Midnighter away. "--You're not one of us. You don't deserve this." Midnighter argued that the scale was too big to walk away from, or leave to super-team "amateurs." As it happened, Apollo was falling like a meteor into the vicinity of the monster, which worked with the vigilante's plan.

Inside the monster, Adam One acknowledged his poor leadership had killed his team, the Engineer conducted futile analysis, Jenny Quantum wondered if a better self-understanding would have helped her save the day, Jack Hawksmoor prepared to die, and Harry Tanner remained an enigma. Martian Manhunter observed, "I cannot probe its diffuse mind. I must stop it using my mental powers-- even if that kills me."

Midnighter had the Projectionist hack his cowl sensors so that she could show him how Stormwatch's satellite headquarters worked, without either having actual knowledge. "I have an intuitive understanding of control systems. I think I know what I'm looking at." Midnighter sweet talked Apollo into trusting him (complete with cheek stroking,) then had the Eye fire a massive beam of collected sunlight at him.

Apollo felt more powerful than ever, blasting through the monster and freeing its undigested Stormwatch members. Manhunter went straight to checking on young Jenny. Somehow, Tanner knew that the ancient hidden city Hawkmoor had been trying to contact was named Alba Umbra, which allowed "the God of Cities" to finally established benign contact with its eternal spirit. The aged lady asked, "Are... the beasts back? They... killed all my people. I had to use the alchemy in me to... hide." Alba Umbra was convinced to unearth itself, sending the moon monster reeling.

Adam recognized the city, but couldn't recall details with the holes in his memory. Jack surmised that it had been attacked first because of its alchemical abilities, "changing the nature of stuff..." The Engineer dismissed Adam as leader, then sent Jack and Midnighter to find the city's power source. She would join Apollo and Harry in fighting off the monster, to which Midnighter replied, "Good. Finally! That's how I'd have called it." She didn't enjoy the mutiny, but "I'm an engineer. I fix things. And this was so not working... But I remember when we were a team. We could still be a good team"

Martian Manhunter followed Jack and Midnighter, then did something with his hands to analyze "this transformative crucible." He couldn't see its use, but Midnighter could, and had the also present Jenny activate it... explosively... knocking J'Onn for a loop. Harry pleaded ignorance about the moon menace as he watched Alba Umbra transform it into glass. Engineer noted "Once our team might have put all these jigsaw pieces together. But Adam just seems to like staring at what this chaos is producing."

The team marveled at their mess, then were suddenly whisked away by an emergency teleport door. A cosmic being was on the bridge of the Eye, stating "I represent the Stormwatch Shadow Cabinet. I'm here for Adam. He's failed as your leader. So it's time for him to die." Projectionist added, "He keeps saying that!"

"The Dark Side: Part Four" was by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda. Paul Cornell kept telling everybody that all the wack-a-doo b.s. going on in this book would amount to something. Apparently, that something was the readership's collective sigh that the dude bails after #6. Not one-- not two-- but three gods pop out of boxes to tell plotlines from the first three issues to talk to the hand. "Those sixty pages you read earlier? That 'plot?' Nope. Stops right here." They're really tired contrivances too, like "Let's fill the energy guy up with enough energy to shoot super-energy that'll wipe out the bad guys in one fell swoop" and "Our secret bosses show up to fix everything." GTFO. Midnighter coming on to Apollo was less like all those cynical, sarcastic British techno-thrillers they're known for and more like the sorts of panels from '60s Young Romance comics Roy Lichtenstein would have swiped from. The rest of the paper doll version of the Authority just goes through the motions of a post-Morrison team book as written by an incompetent acolyte. Also, artist Miguel Sepulveda shows a Rob Liefeldian hatred of feet. Lacking the common courtesy to offer spontaneous manifestations of fog or smoke or dust clouds, Sepulveda just draws toes like Charles Schultz drew Charlie Brown's hair. At least we're 2/3rds to completely done.

New 52's Day


mathematicscore said...

Nailin' it with the vitriol. I assumed what J'onn was doing with his hands was "mind over matter" and he was in fact creating the cauldron from ambient atoms. SILVER AGE POWERS FTW.

will_in_chicago said...

Well, Jn'Onn came across as competent and compassionate, but characterization here is painted with very broad strokes. If I had no knowledge of the characters, I would have struggled to piece together who was whom. I don't think any lasting damage was done to J'Onn or the other established characters, but neither did they get much justice.

Diabolu Frank said...

Ooo-- ancient Atlantean Denali minty moose tracks bucket!

I really doubt Cornell was shooting for "inoffensive fluff," but look where he landed. I hope Peter Milligan does better, or at least no worse.